Germany

As chilling as it is absurd, Kamal Aljafari’s Paradiso repurposes found footage from Israeli military propaganda and turns it into a fictional drama of men playing at war. Aljafari takes the title from a short story by Borges and describes the work as a “cinematic self-portrait” – questioning our interpretation of screen violence, its relationship to real-world horrors, and troubling our positionality as spectators.

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Countries

Run Time

18 mins

This fourth chapter of Arsanios’ Who is Afraid of Ideology? series continues a collaborative investigation of anti-capitalist ideas around property and land ownership in Lebanon. The film’s figurative reverse shot reflects land as an autonomous, living object that inherently resists notions of property. Instead, matter and land become witness to the interconnectedness of the geological, the historical, the legal and the agricultural – generating an ecology of thought centred around land as a site of communalisation and rehabilitation.

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Countries

Run Time

34 mins

Sepa: Our Lord of the Miracles

(Sepa: Nuestro Señor de los Milagros)

A rare UK screening of Walter Saxer’s little-seen documentary about an experimental open-air penal colony in the Peruvian Amazon described by inmates as the ‘green hell’. With echoes of the work of frequent-collaborator, Werner Herzog, Saxer’s film stands as the only in-depth public record of a controversial facility that existed between 1951-1993 as a dumping ground for both hardened criminals and political prisoners. The film’s restrained, observational approach gives rise to a surprising and complex meditation on forms of justice, liberty and rehabilitation.

Director

Run Time

77 mins

Paris Calligrammes

(Paris Calligrammes)

In a rich torrent of archival audio and visuals, paired with extracts from her own artworks and films, Ottinger resurrects the old Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Latin Quarter. Amongst their literary cafés and jazz clubs, she revisits encounters with Jewish exiles; life with her artistic community; the world views of Parisian ethnologists and philosophers; the political upheavals of the Algerian War and May 1968; and the legacy of the colonial era. “I followed the footsteps of my heroines and heroes,” Ottinger narrates, “wherever I found them, they will appear in this film too.”

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Countries

Run Time

130 mins

Three young men—two brothers and their cousin—meet on a dense summer night to feel the “high” of a dozen “Hasiklidika” songs; Rebetiko songs from the beginning of the 20th century which celebrate the effects of Hashish. But beyond the pleasures of drugs, it is here a question of love, of joy and sadness, a search for freedom and political commitment… Little by little, yesterday’s counterculture, made out of poverty and violence, and built on the pains of exile, reverberates the one of today. —Elise Florenty & Marcel Türkowsky

Countries

Run Time

54 mins

A knife suspended in the air, a PVC trench coat, a slick of red lipstick and multiple stories of murder and obsession all become signifying agents in this camp mash-up of language, narrative and performance. This experimental short film challenges any claim for authenticity—least of all in the eyes of the viewer.

Country

Run Time

14 mins

I Was at Home, But

(Ich war zuhause, aber)

After living wild for a week, Astrid’s 13-year-old son Phillip returns home without saying a word. Only gradually does everyday life get back on track. Astrid now finds herself confronted with questions that provide a whole new perspective on her middle-class existence and her career in Berlin’s cultural sector. At home, it becomes more and more difficult for this single mother to accept that her son is leading his own life. The family may be disintegrating, but only to form itself anew.

Supported by Goethe-Institut London

Director

Countries

Run Time

105 mins

Bugs and Beasts Before the Law explores the history and legacy of the “animal trials” that took place in medieval Europe, in which animals—and other non-humans, such as insects and inanimate objects—were put on trial for various crimes and offenses, ranging from trespassing and thievery, to assault and murder. This history of colonial law-making forged political and sometimes profane relationships between humans and animals. Bambitchell’s essayistic film reimagines common perceptions of legal history and, in doing so, produces a world where past and present, fiction and non-fiction, human and animal fuse. —Bambitchell

Back to 2069

(Πίσω στο 2069)

Back to 2069 looks at the eroded landscape of the Greek militarized Aegean island Lemnos, a political space where a myth meets contemporary concerns upon the relation of virtual and real image production. On the island, a solitary man shape-shifts from argonaut to avatar through various hallucinations, experiencing different states of embodiment and disembodiment. Although he exiled himself from Athens to escape the crisis, past and future scenarios of conflict are gradually catching up on him. What appears to be a fiction is made out of documentary footage that interweaves the man’s venture on the island with recorded Arma 3 video-game sessions from Youtube. —Elise Florenty & Marcel Türkowsky

Agnieszka Polska’s unsettling perspective on humanity takes the form of an animated child-faced sun with melancholy eyes. Digitally sourced images paint a frantic image of a crumbling world. From a distance, the sun jokes about environmental issues and comments on the tumultuous times in which the world finds itself. —IFFR

Director

Countries

Run Time

7 mins